Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Diary of a Private Detective. Part Two.


There was something about the way Fat Barry was acting that rubbed me up the wrong way. How he kept smiling and laughing. How he was always looking over at the bush outside the restaurant where I was hiding. 

Yeah, that's right, I was sleuthing. I'm at my happiest when I sleuth. I get it from my Grandpa. He was a master sleuth. By trade, he was a milkman, but he used to sleuth in his spare time. He only stopped when my Grandma discovered him sleuthing through a skylight in the ladies' dressing room at the gym. I still miss the old crank. He was a proud guy right 'til the end. Fact is, he was so proud that he got on the wrong bus one day, but wouldn't admit his mistake and stayed on it for the rest of his life. In a way, I admired his moxy, but in another way, I kinda wish he hadn't blown all my inheritance on fares.

Anyway, back to the bush. This restaurant was a fancy place. I had no idea Fat Barry had the scratch to take a broad to a Sizzlin' pub. From what I can make out, they didn't even order from the 241 menu. I made a mental note to forget about paying him back that ten bucks I owe him. Guy's so flush he don't need it.

I watched through the window and tried to figure out what Candy and Fat Barry were saying. I had to use all the skills I gained at the Nobby Decker Academy of Lip Reading. Here's a choice snippet:

CANDY: I wash filthy turnips.

FAT BARRY: Jason Orange is my homeboy.

I scratched my chin, which was a bad idea 'cause I'd just accidentally dipped my finger in a dog dook. Relax, It ain't the first time life has dealt me a crappy hand. 

I wondered what the hell they were talking about. It just sounded like a load of nonsense to me.

CANDY: Catflaps are so in right now.

FAT BARRY: My doctor recommended kicking sparrows to cure my sinusitis.

Then it came to me. It hit me like a rotten egg messing up my window on Halloween. They were spies! Russian spies! How else could you explain it?

Attractive woman being seen with Fat Barry.

They speak in code.

Fat Barry is really secretive. Like, this once, he wouldn't even tell me his account number, sort code and mother's maiden name. Even though we are 'best friends.'

That settled it. No further investigation needed. Fat Barry is working for Mother Russia. He's probably trying to find out official secrets to send back to Stalin or whoever the hell in charge there these days. No way. I'm telling him nothing. Nah, I won't tell him nothing. I've got a better idea.

You know what, my hand still stinks. That hand sanitizer I bought from the deaf kid at the grocery store sucks. 

Friday, 22 November 2013

Diary of a Private Detective


History is dominated by ‘ifs’. If Archduke Franz Ferdinand had taken a different route home one afternoon, World War One wouldn’t have happened. If Alexander Fleming wasn’t a bit blasé about doing the dishes, there would be no penicillin. And if my mother hadn’t put my best white shirt in with her red slacks, the kids at school wouldn’t have called me ‘Pinky’. Life ain’t nothing but a crap shoot.

It was by chance that a little twinky by the name of Candy Gable shimmied into my office this morning. Straight away, I knew this piece was bad news. I hadn't seen legs that long since I took that summer job as a giraffe podiatrist.

'Oh, I'm sorry,' she said. 'I thought this was the shoe cobbler's.'

'It is, toots,' I said. 'I'll cobble your shoes, cut your keys, and, what the hell, I'll find someone who don't want to be found, you understand?'

She looked confused. 'So, can you fix my stiletto or not?'

I adjusted my fedora. Let me tell you, hat-wearing is no picnic when you got a head as big as mine. 'Sure thing.'

She leaned over my desk and placed the shoe down. 'The name's Gable,' she said. 'Candy Gable.'

'You name your shoes?' I said.

'My name is Candy Gable.'

So this chick named shoes after herself. I made a mental note to name my favourite shoe after myself as soon as I got home. You've got to keep up with trends.

'I should have this done for you by tomorrow,' I said.

I'm lying through my teeth. I got no clue about cobbling shoes, I just forgot to take the sign down when I moved into the office. There was something about this chick, though.

'Look, I hate to be cheeky, but could you deliver this to my house?' She ran her hand through her blonde hair.

Now, I didn't roll outta my ma yesterday. I know when a chick is giving me the come-on. Just the other day, I could tell this broad was putting the make on me - the way she flicked her hair, the way she arched her back, the way she pepper-sprayed me - it's all subtle-like.

I took down her address and tried to stop my hand from shaking. I never get this way about a girl, but most girls ain't Candy Gable.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to fix her shoe. In the end, I just tied a bunch of biros to it. It wasn't pretty, but it did the job. Kinda like me.


I spent all day getting ready to deliver the shoe. I even took a bath. I never take baths. I normally use the tub for storing old copies of Private Dick Weekly. That never has me in it, either. Oh no, but Joey Saccamoni got in just for reuniting a guy with his ma. Word on the street is the old gal was so senile, she just forgot where he lived.

I knew I had to be smelling fresh for this chick, so I stopped off at the grocery store for some mints and some menthol smokes.

'And throw me in some of that cologne will ya?' I said to the square behind the counter.

'But sir, this is my ear medicine,' he stuttered.

'What the hell, kid? Did I ask for your life story? Just put it in the god damn bag so I can get on my way.'

Candy lived in a run-down part of town. A guy like me has to watch his back in a place like that. This one time, I went there to investigate a chicken theft. It was all going well to start with, but I was scrabbling across the rooftops in my skivvies before the night was out.

I kept a hand on my piece the rest of the way there. I should point out that piece means gun. I ain't a pervert. I knocked her door and dabbed some of that kid's ear medicine on my neck.

Now, I'm what you'd call a cool customer. This once a guy jumped off a skyscraper and landed right next to me and I didn't even break my stride. But this time it was different. She looked like a movie star. I mean, yeah, so did my ex-wife, but Groucho Marx ain't exactly every guy's dream.

'Ma-ma-ma,' I stuttered like Scatman John in a tumble dryer.

'You're the shoe guy, right?' she said.

'S-sure am, hon,' I said. 'Can I come in?'

She looked puzzled for a second, then nodded. The old charm working.

Inside, her place was interesting. Shaggy sheep, I think they call it. Or Shabby chic. Whatever. Do I look like Jim Llewellyn Bowen, for crying out loud?

'You want me to take my shoes off, doll?' I said.


I kicked them off and left them in the corner. 'You stay there, Ben,' I said.

'What did you say?' said Candy.

'Just named my favourite shoe,' I said. 'Like you.'

She looked confused and shrugged. 'So, did you bring, um, Candy?'

I pulled the stiletto out of the bag.

'Whaddaya think?' I handed it to her. 'The biros make it look kinda classy, right?'

She looked at it with what I thought was amazement and wonder.

'Naturally, no charge,' I said.

She kinda smiled and threw the shoe into a cupboard.

'Ain't ya gonna try it on?' I said.

'Um, not right now,' she said. 'Anyway, my date will be here any second, so . . .'

Date? What the hell? If I'd have known she was seeing some other schnook I wouldn't have made the effort.

Now, I'm a persistent man. I was kicked out of the Jehova's Witnesses for my so-called 'aggressive' tactics, but I know when I'm beat. So I put Ben and Ben 2 back on and headed for the door. When I opened it, I was stunned. And I'm not a man who's easily stunned, as the officer pursuing me with a Taser that time will attest. But the sight that greeted me at that chick's door turned my stomach like so much chicken jalfrezi.

'Fat Barry?' I said.

'What are you doing here?' he said.

'I could ask you the same question, short stack.'

'I'm here for my date with Candy,' he said. 'And why are you talking like that?'

'It's my Private Dick voice,' I said.

'Well, it sounds like you're having a stroke,' he said.

Candy came out behind me and gave Fat Barry a hug. 'It's great to see you, Barry,' she said.

Something ain't right here. Fat Barry shouldn't be scoring with broads as smoking as that. I have to find out what his secret is. I have to use all the knowledge I gained at the Bob O'Flaherty One Day Private Investigation Super Course.

Looks like things are about to get interesting.

Monday, 18 November 2013

My new career

So I've decided to start a new career. Don't get me wrong, being a writer is fun. It's an exciting lifestyle. It's all parties*, drugs** and loose women***.

* Tupperware
** Lemsip
*** The ITV chat show.

But it doesn't make me feel like a useful member of society. I mean, if a cat gets stuck up a tree, the owners don't call a writer, do they?

If my words could build a ladder . . . Ah balls to it, pass me a rock.

Anyway, my quest to become a pillar of the community hasn't been easy. First, I tried to become a freelance fire fighter. This didn't go well. The head fire guy was kind of annoyed with me. He was all, 'you're not properly trained,' and 'you're going to kill someone' and 'a Supersoaker is not a recognised piece of fire fighting equipment.'

I've had it up to HERE with your "roo-ules!"

And my career as an entrepreneur was equally short-lived.

One day the world will be ready for the pumpkin hat. One day.

Then one afternoon, when I was watching Magnum PI and picking my belly button fluff, I had a brain wave. It was his face that did it. That rugged face.

If you're not on birth control, chances are you're now pregnant.

As soon as I saw him, I knew I had it! I was going to become a moustache comb salesman! Then, when that didn't work out, I realised what epiphany I was supposed to have had in the first place:

I was going to become a private detective!

I rented an office, I bought a hat and I took up smoking. All I needed was clients. Stay tuned for what happened next.

How's about THAT for a cliffhanger?